What is COPD? Are essential oils for COPD an effective home remedy?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of lung disorders that make breathing difficult. There is no cure for COPD, but you can manage its symptoms effectively and slow its progression.
Long-term exposure to toxins and pollutants cause COPD. Symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease include soreness of throat, shortness of breath, and cough. COPD patients often have chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Home remedies and lifestyle changes can work to relieve symptoms of COPD. Studies confirm that essential oils fight COPD when paired with medications. Keep reading to find out more information about treating COPD with essential oils.
- COPD And Essential Oils
- What are Essential Oils?
- Important Health Benefits Of Essential Oils
- 10 Essential Oils For COPD You Might Try
- Side Effects Of Essential Oils
- How To Use Essential Oil For COPD?
- Frequently Asked Questions
COPD And Essential Oils
Research suggests the effectiveness of essential oils in treating upper respiratory tract infections. These infections include common cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, and pharyngitis. These conditions are often acute and last for a short duration. On the other hand, COPD is a chronic affair and may last for a lifetime. However, both conditions involve the inflammation of the tiny air tracts called the bronchiole tubes. This aromatherapy using essential oils is believed to relieve COPD symptoms. The use of essential oil therapy should also accompany smoking cessation and dietary changes.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are popularly used in aromatherapy these days. All you have to do is inhale them or rub them on your skin. These oils are used as a to-go treatment for thousands of ailments in alternative medicine. Essential oils are not just a fad!
Essential oils are extracted from the stems, seeds, roots, and flowers of a plant. They have powerful scents and are highly potent in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic compounds.
Apart from using essential oil in medicine, they can be used in cooking, perfume industry, and cleansing products.
Important Health Benefits Of Essential Oils
Essential oils have many health benefits, plus you can infuse your soul with a healthy aroma.
- They strengthen your immune system and overall health
- Aromatherapy helps reduce stress, fight depression and fatigue
- Essential oils also reduce tissue irritation with its potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties
- These oils are potent decongestant and relive breathing
10 Essential Oils For COPD You Might Try
We have seen the health benefits of essential oils, now let’s look at the essential oils for COPD treatment and how they may provide relief.
1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil contains compounds responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. The oil contains cineole, an ingredient that has antimicrobial effects on the bacterial that cause respiratory infections.
This essential oil stimulates your immune system that can aid the destruction of harmful bacteria causing COPD symptoms. A few drops of eucalyptus oil are used as a natural home remedy for thousands of years for treating respiratory conditions.
Research suggests that eucalyptus oil reduces congestion, soothes a sore throat, fights bronchial flare-ups, and speeds up healing. It is also beneficial for long-term management of asthma and COPD.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil comes from leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia tea tree. It is considered ideal for treating people with COPD because it is known to relieve cold and cough. Tea tree oil boosts the immune system and addresses other health issues like athlete’s foot, dandruff, body odor, wound healing, and infections.
It is a popular natural remedy used worldwide in various alternative medicines. Tea tree oil is toxic if ingested, thus its use should be limited to topical preparations. It can be extracted using steam, water, or vacuum distillation methods.
3. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is extracted from the Rosemary plant. The oil helps relieve many health issues and disease symptoms. Woody scented oil enhances brain function and promotes relaxation.
Thus, it is used widely in aromatherapy. Rosemary oil acts as a nasal decongestant and relieves breathing issues; this is the reason why it is beneficial in treating COPD patients. Rosemary essential oil can be used in beauty preparations, perfume industry, cooking, and cleaning processes.
You can extract rosemary oil using the home boiler and rosemary herb growing in your kitchen garden.
4. Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh is another substance that is used since ancient times as an effective home remedy for everything from headache to leprosy. Myrrh oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is derived from the sap of Commiphora trees. It can be chewed like a piece of gum (in its solid form) or as an essential oil.
The scent of the oil is clean and earthy. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an active ingredient in many healthcare products like toothpaste and mouthwashes. The oil is known to relieve cold, cough, asthma, and respiratory infections. Thus, it is perfect for treating COPD. Myrrh oil need not be diluted with an ounce of carrier oil unless you have sensitive skin.
5. Lavender Essential Oil
If you’re on a hunt for essential oils for COPD, lavender oil proves beneficial in this case. The oil acts as an effective antioxidant and boosts our defense system (immunity) to fight against the disease. Studies show that lavender oil has anti-inflammatory effects on the mucus lining the respiratory system.
Lavender oil lowers stress levels, this can help combat COPD symptoms. It can be used to combat sleep issues, various skin disorders, cooking, and bathing. It is a soothing scent used in many beauty preparations and perfumes. The oil can be extracted by steam distillation method.
6. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil is a sweet and fruity-smelling oil that has a calming effect on your senses. It promotes good sleep and patients can get enough rest to recharge their energy. The oil addresses other health benefits like skin rashes, arthritis, stomach aches, and digestive problems. Chamomile oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and manufacturing of other hygiene products. Never ingest chamomile oil.
7. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot oil improves blood circulation, boosts immunity, and prevents infections. Its antifungal and antibacterial properties help to fight against COPD. This fruit belongs to the citrus family and is popular to soothe the nerves and boost your mood. Bergamot oil can alleviate pain and soreness caused by coughing during COPD flare-ups.
The oil is abundant in vitamin C that boosts immunity and keeps lungs healthy. It helps ease fatigue and negative emotions. Bergamot oil is used in aromatherapy, cosmetics, and perfumes too. It is a popular flavoring agent in many preparations.
8. Frankincense Essential Oil
This essential oil is extracted from Boswellia trees and provides similar benefits as that of myrrh. While myrrh has a woody scent, frankincense essential oil has a sweet and spicy aroma. The oil features potent antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to strengthen the immune system and fight COPD.
It is an effective decongestant and expectorant, eases breathing, and revitalizes mind, body, and spirit. The soothing effect of frankincense essential oil combats anxiety and improves memory.
9. Lemon Essential Oil
This is another citrus oil that keeps infections at bay. It comes from the lemon tree and has a fruity scent. The oil is rich in vitamin C, which can help fight against cough and cold. Lemon oil can also soothe chest pain resulting due to coughing.
Apart from its antiseptic antibacterial properties, lemon oil is good for the skin, bowel movement, wound healing and is used as a disinfectant. The essential oil is extracted by the cold-press method.
10. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is a useful herb widely used in alternative medicine for thousands of years. The essential oil has a cool, minty, and refreshing scent. Peppermint oil alleviates asthma attacks and soothes breathing problems. It is very useful for COPD patients with cough and cold. It acts as a natural decongestant.
It uplifts your mood and is a popular oil for aromatherapy. A wide array of skincare and healthcare products contain peppermint oil (from ointments to soaps to toothpaste). Peppermint oil can be mixed with food. Peppermint leaves and flowers can be used for oil extraction.
Side Effects Of Essential Oils
Essential oils are commonly used natural home remedies for treating many illnesses. However, this doesn’t signify that they are safe for everyone. Here are some side effects of using these essential oils. Bare them in mind.
- Few essential oils counteract the effect of other medications.
- Some oils like lemongrass, cinnamon, and clove oil are pungent and can irritate your mucus lining making your symptoms feel worse.
- Essential oils are many times toxic when ingested internally. Make sure you read all labels carefully and consult experts before using them.
- Essential oils can irritate your skin and cause rashes. Always dilute them using a carrier oil before use.
- Oils should be diffused in well-ventilated places only and the treatment shouldn’t exceed more than one hour at a time.
- Treatment with essential oils can be toxic to children, pregnant women, and pets.
How To Use Essential Oil For COPD?
Having seen the various benefits and side effects of essential oils, it’s important to know the ways these oils to treat COPD symptoms. Using essential oil correctly for COPD treatment is crucial to see the effect.
Experts recommend these three methods to use essential oils for COPD treatment:
- Diffuser method: Use a diffuser to include essential oils in the treatment routine for COPD. These devices may or may not use heat to evaporate essential oils into the air. You can use a single or combination of oils to maximize the benefits of the therapy. Aromatherapy will not only relieve COPD symptoms but also lift your mood instantly.
- Chest rub: Use different essential oils to make a chest rub. You can make it in quantity and use it for weeks to treat symptoms of COPD. You can start adding a few drops of essential oil(s) to an ounce of carrier oil like coconut oil, argan oil, or jojoba oil. You can mix about 6-12 drops of essential oil(s) as per need. Chest rubs are good especially for people on the go. The topical treatment will work as a decongestant, soothe muscle ache from coughing and relieve breathing.
- Steam inhalation: In this method, you must add 1-2 drops of essential oil to boiling water and inhale. Alternatively, you can add them to your humidifier. Remember to clean the device well as the oils may cause buildup and decrease the efficacy of the humidifier.
There is no cure for COPD, but you can manage its symptoms using essential oils. Research indicates that essential oils promote natural healing, strengthen your immunity, and reduce the symptoms of COPD. They improve congestion and breathing. They are inexpensive and easy to use. Consult with your doctor and know which essential oil(s) are best for you. These alternative therapies should go alongside your COPD medications and treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, a diffuser can be a useful device to use essential oils for COPD treatment. Combine multiple oils recommended for COPD and add it to the diffuser. Breathe in the refreshing and healing aroma every day to see positive results.
Essential oils reach your brain within 22 seconds and start showing the results. It can enter the bloodstream in 2 minutes and within 22 minutes they are traceable in every cell in the body.
The following essential oils can help keep your lungs healthy and relieve cough.
• Eucalyptus oil
• Rosemary oil
• Frankincense oil
• Peppermint oil
• Chamomile oil
• Cinnamon oil
• Geranium oil
• Lavender oil
• Lemon oil
• Myrrh Oil and more
There are several ways you can alleviate symptoms of COPD naturally. These lifestyle modifications and simple home remedies can do the trick.
• Quit smoking and drinking alcohol
• Manage stress levels
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Stay fit
• Practice breathing and water-based exercises
• Improve air quality at home
• Use essential oils
• Add supplements like vitamin D, creatine, and co-enzyme Q10 to your diet
Breathing diluted essential oils can be safe for most people. However, even if small amounts of these oils are ingested, they can be toxic. Undiluted essential oils can cause skin burn or irritate your nostrils. Check with your doctor before you use essential oils.
There are numerous herbs beneficial for COPD and other respiratory diseases. Echinacea, ginger, Asian ginseng, licorice, red sage, thyme, peppermint, and curcumin are some of the most popular herbs to try.
She is a pharmacist by education and working in the field of medical content development for more than 9 years. She has an excellent hold on medical content research and development and has produced valuable data for various pharmaceutical companies.